http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/GettyImages_539939450_CNA.jpgOrlando, Fla., Jun 13, 2016 / 05:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).-After a gunman pledging allegiance to ISIS carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union pointed their finger toward Christians in blame.
But leading Christians from organizations across the country rejected this characterization, stressing that while they disagree with gay marriage, they promote the dignity of every human life, no matter the sexual orientation.
Early Sunday morning, 29-year-old Omar Mateen of Port St Lucie, Florida, opened fire in a gay night club in Orlando. He took hostages and engaged in an hours-long standoff with police before being killed. At least 49 people were killed and 53 injured, the highest death toll of any mass shooting in the nation’s history.
Mateen had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call he made from inside the nightclub, authorities said.
He had “strong indications of radicalization,” according to FBI director James Comey. President Barack Obama, in his remarks Monday morning, acknowledged that the shooting “is being treated as a terrorist investigation. It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the Internet.”
In the hours after the shooting, ACLU attorney Chase Strangio skewered those who offered their “thoughts and prayers” for the victims and their families. “You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate,” he tweeted.
He continued by lambasting “the Christian right” for pushing legislation to protect the conscience rights of individuals and business owners. “The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this. No.”
Another ACLU member, Eunice Rho, chastised GOP lawmakers expressing solidarity and offering prayers after the shooting. Rho accused them of sponsoring the “extreme, anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act.”